WRC-19 Approves Region 1 50 MHz Allocation

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 21 Novem­ber 2019

The World Radio­com­mu­ni­ca­tion Con­fer­ence WRC-19 has approved an allo­ca­tion in the 50 MHz band for ama­teurs in Region 1. The deci­sion will now be incor­po­rat­ed in the Final Acts of the conference.

The deci­sion comes after more than three weeks of stren­u­ous nego­ti­a­tions to rec­on­cile wide­ly dis­parate views of Region 1 admin­is­tra­tions. The result is a dra­mat­ic improve­ment in the inter­na­tion­al Radio Reg­u­la­tions for ama­teurs in Region 1. Before WRC-19 there were only 11 coun­tries in Africa with a pri­ma­ry allo­ca­tion in the band. When the Final Acts take effect, on a date that has not yet been deter­mined, there will be 44 coun­tries in Region 1 with a pri­ma­ry allo­ca­tion of at least 500 kHz includ­ing 26 coun­tries with a pri­ma­ry allo­ca­tion of the entire band 50–54 MHz. The entire region will have an ama­teur sec­ondary allo­ca­tion of 50–52 MHz except in the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion, whose admin­is­tra­tion opt­ed for only 50.080–50.280 MHz on a sec­ondary basis. There are pro­vi­sions to pro­tect the oth­er exist­ing ser­vices that use the band in Region 1 and neigh­bor­ing coun­tries in Region 3. The exist­ing pri­ma­ry allo­ca­tion of 50–54 MHz in Regions 2 and 3 is unaf­fect­ed. The exact man­ner in which the allo­ca­tions will be imple­ment­ed in Region 1 coun­tries will be deter­mined by each admin­is­tra­tion and may be either more gen­er­ous or less, depend­ing on nation­al considerations.

The WRC-19 deci­sion on its agen­da item 1.1 is the cul­mi­na­tion of years of effort by the IARU and its mem­ber-soci­eties, main­ly in Region 1 but with sup­port from the oth­er two regions. The ITU Radio­com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sec­tor work­ing group in which prepa­ra­tions were con­duct­ed was chaired by Dale Hugh­es, VK1DSH, of Aus­tralia who also was cho­sen to chair the sub work­ing group deal­ing with the item at the WRC. The sub work­ing group, des­ig­nat­ed 4C1, held 10 meet­ings before reach­ing an agree­ment that could be for­ward­ed to Work­ing Group 4C where addi­tion­al dis­cus­sions and adjust­ments took place. Com­mit­tee 4 received the out­put of 4C on Tues­day, 12 Novem­ber and per­formed addi­tion­al fine-tun­ing before rec­om­mend­ing the results for adop­tion by the con­fer­ence Ple­nary. Con­sid­er­a­tion by the Ple­nary was delayed while a nar­row issue in one foot­note was resolved.

IARU Vice Pres­i­dent Ole Garpes­tad, LA2RR, who is attend­ing the WRC as a mem­ber of the Nor­we­gian del­e­ga­tion, observed: “The suc­cess­ful out­come on Agen­da Item 1.1 could only have come about through a team effort by the IARU mem­ber-soci­eties and region­al orga­ni­za­tions, and espe­cial­ly by the vol­un­teers who have devot­ed count­less hours to prepar­ing doc­u­ments and attend­ing meet­ings over the past three years. Our thanks go to every­one who has con­tributed to this effort, includ­ing the radio ama­teurs who sup­port the IARU through mem­ber­ship in the IARU mem­ber-soci­ety in their coun­try.” LA2RR coor­di­nat­ed over­all IARU prepa­ra­tions for WRC-19. Dave Court, EI3IO, led the IARU effort on Agen­da Item 1.1 which engaged all six region­al telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions orga­ni­za­tions: ASMG for the Arab States, ATU for Africa, CEPT for Europe, RCC for Rus­sia and sev­er­al coun­tries of the for­mer Sovi­et Union, CITEL for Region 2, and APT for Region 3. Region 1 Sec­re­tary Hans Blondeel Tim­mer­man, PB2T, was coor­di­na­tor for the item on behalf of CEPT on whose pro­pos­al the ulti­mate com­pro­mise was large­ly based. 

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